Today sees the last of my posts from my Cream Tea Review blog. The last post is about the cream tea on offer at the wonderful Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
Cream Tea Review – Chatsworth House
FRIDAY 20 AUGUST 2010
In an attempt to relish what’s left of the summer, last weekend two friends and I took a journey out to the country’s best stately home (and home of Mr Darcy), Chatsworth House.
We’re incredibly lucky that by living in Nottingham we live less than an hours drive (and in most cases just 30 minutes away) from a vast collection of stately homes – both National Trust and privately owned such as the hidden away gem Haddon Hall, the grand Hardwick Hall (and the English Heritage managed Old Hall ruins), the wonderfully eccentric Calke Abbey and Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood, to mention just a few. One day i’ll talk about these in a bit more detail but for now i should focus on the crowning glory of Derbyshire’s stately home’s – Chatsworth House.
Our first destination was the very popular and well-stocked No8 Deli in West Bridgford. We kick started our day with a perfect cuppa and an absolutely delicious but not particularly healthy almond croissant. It was worth it though!
We also picked up our sandwiches ready for a picnic in Chatsworth’s Gardens later that day. I opted for Roast Veg, Mozzarella and Houmous but only after a long period of indecision crippled by the vast array of options available.
After our sugary breakfast we climbed into our car, switched the cd player on and headed straight for Chatsworth. As you might guess it turned out that we weren’t the only ones who were lulled in by Chatsworth’s many charms on this particularly sunny Sunday.
We encountered quite a bit of traffic on the way in and discovered that we were to be joining a wedding party, the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club and lots of happy families on our amble around the House, Gardens and Farmyard.
I won’t go into detail about our trip around the House, Gardens and Farmyard instead i’ll skip straight to what we’re all here for, the cream tea! But needless to say if you’re in the area (and really even if you’re not) it’s well worth a trip around the House and Gardens. So anyway, onto the review…
Setting: The Chatsworth self-service cafe is situated in a lovely courtyard at the top of the hill which also has a well-stocked and interesting gift shop and a delightful garden store. There is also a restaurant in the courtyard so be careful to choose the right one!
The courtyard itself is delightful and the seating area of the self-service restaurant is pleasant but suffers slightly from a mixture of styles and too many people (it can be hard to get a table). One of the really nice things about the seating area is the Chatsworth inspired art around the walls – a collection of different coloured canvases with very stark and plain representations of the Chatsworth landscape throughout the year. Overall it’s a pleasant environment. 7/10
Atmosphere: A real mix of patrons from families to groups of friends and couples. 8/10
Quantity: You pay per scone so it’s up to you! Beware the scones are very large indeed so you’ll probably only need 1. Unless you fancy a challenge that is… 7/10
Accessories: A large pot of delicious Teapigs tea in a blend of your choice (I opted for English Breakfast as they were all out of Assam). You buy the scones individually and they come with butter, a small Chatsworth branded pot of Strawberry Jam & a tub of Roddas Clotted Cream. 8/10
Choice: I have been to Chatsworth for a cream tea many times and believe there is occassionally a choice between fruit, plain and cherry. On this particular day, however, there were only fruit scones to be had. Not so good for the fruit scone haters out there. 6/10
Quality: A yummy and very filling fruit scone. Nice and fresh but it wasn’t warm. 8/10
Verdict: 8/10 Chatsworth offers a very pleasant cream tea experience in lovely surroundings but suffered on this day from a lack of choice.